She is a real inspiration and a great role model, not just for black women, but for women of all ethnicities. I admire her beauty, elegance, intelligence, wit and charm.
When I started this blog two and a half years ago it was supposed to represent a journey towards my own half-century where I would change my eating habits, take more exercise, embrace my natural hair and greet my 50th birthday at my absolute peak.
However, even the best-laid plans can come unstuck and two and a half years is a long time to stay focused on health and beauty when there are other priorities. My ‘lifestyle challenge’ started off well enough – as my gallery shows, I lost a good amount of weight and managed to keep it off for a year, but it crept back on.
Looking at my weight journal that I have kept since January 2010, by June 2013 my weight had gone back up to 14 st! Also, despite initially managing to keep up with a natural hair regimen, it became too difficult to maintain and by September 2012 I was back to using relaxers.
I underestimated the demands of undertaking a PhD, which took up all of my time and energy to the point where I would not allow myself the time to do exercise or keep up with the daily/weekly hair regimen. I also juggled part-time PR work and setting up the Black British Academics Network in April 2013. The only thing that kept me going was food and red wine.
I knew I was eating and drinking too much – a couple of glasses of red wine with the evening meal soon adds up to more than is healthy and cakes and chocolates were a regular reward I gave myself for completing chapters in my doctoral thesis.
I had to ‘zone out’, a technique I mastered to filter out any and all distractions to give my full attention to a single task – my thesis. It proved successful and I finished my thesis at the beginning of January and await my viva (oral examination) sometime in March.
I am now on a mission to regain my slim figure and get fit again so that I can look and feel fabulous at 50! I am in what I call the ‘AF’ zone – that is ‘absolutely focused’ to the point where know I can do anything I put my mind to.
Seeing Michelle Obama at 50 is highly motivating and empowering and will keep me in the ‘AF’ zone to achieve my goals. Watch this space!